Lukaku casts doubt on Everton future, wants UCL football

Romelu Lukaku has been in great form for Everton this season.

Romelu Lukaku has cast doubt on his Everton future by stating he wants to play Champions League football next season.

The Belgium striker is in Brussels with his international team-mates as they prepare for their re-arranged fixture with Portugal.

However, he told Sky Sports that the Champions League is "the next step" for him and said he is keen to test himself against Europe’s elite in next season’s campaign. 

That would appear to cast doubt over his Everton future with the side 13 points behind Manchester City in the final Champions League spot in fourth.

Lukaku said: "That is the next step for me. I’m 23 next summer and I think it would be nice to play in the Champions League from next season."

The 22-year-old moved to Everton permanently for £28m in 2014 after spending a season on loan at Goodison Park from Chelsea. 

Earlier, Lukaku’s father had urged his son to leave Goodison for either Manchester United or Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

Lukaku, who has scored 25 goals so far this season, said he is happy to be linked to those kind of clubs.

"That is my dad’s point of view; I think those are the teams he likes," he said. "It means people are keeping an eye on you.

"I have an agent who is dealing with this for me at the moment. I just want to be good, help my team-mates win games and score lots of goals."

Newspaper reports suggest Antonio Conte would be keen to take the striker back to Chelsea if he is appointed at Stamford Bridge this summer, but Lukaku insists he does not have any unfinished business at his former club.

"No, I would not say that. I don’t think I have anything to prove against them," he said. "I moved on, they moved on.

"It was the best deal for both teams because they won the league and I became a better player so we will see what the future brings."

Meanwhile, Lukaku said he is working hard in every training session to become an even better player and is eyeing a strong end to the season with Everton in the Premier League.

Asked about how much better he thinks he can get in the future, Lukaku said: "Way better; I think at the moment I work hard and the coaches at Everton are helping me to become the player I want to be.

"At the moment things are going very well for me personally but as a team we need to perform better and hopefully we can do that in the last few games."

If both players are selected for Tuesday’s re-arranged friendly, Lukaku will line up against Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and he revealed that he looks up to the Portuguese star.

"I think he is an inspiration for every player who is working hard," Lukaku said. "He is the type of player who shows that hard work beats talent.

"He is a talented player but his hard work off and on the pitch shows why he is a top player and he is an example for every young player coming through."